Shopping and Eating in London – A Few Ideas

Shopping and Eating in London – A Few Ideas

London is a massive city with so much to offer, it is impossible to list everything. But what I can do is list a few of the places where I have spent time shopping and eating in London. I can also try to share a bit of information on what is available and what you can look forward to. The options for shopping and eating in London range from incredibly cheap to incredibly expensive. You can also find something from every corner of the world. It really is amazing.

Eating in London

You can choose to eat at a pub that is several hundred years old, or an expensive hotel restaurant that is also several hundred years old. How about eating food from a country you have never visited, or maybe just stick to eating something more within your comfort zone. Try the London invention of afternoon tea for the first time, or enjoy a kabob at the end of a night of drinking just like the locals. Maybe you would prefer to just shop for groceries at Tesco’s or Sainsbury’s. Like these Urban Fruit (website) treats that are healthy, chewy, and basically candy-like. They are 100% fruit with no added sugar or sulphites, just baked fruit. I ate them every day and brought a huge amount home with me. To say I loved them is a bit of an understatement so I highly recommend them.

Urban Fruit Treats from shopping and eating in London

Some of the Urban Fruit treats I brought home from London.

Shopping in London

If you are a reader, one option is visiting Hatchards on Piccadilly; London’s oldest bookstore at over 200 years old. Next door to it is Fortnum & Mason which for over 300 years has been supplying people with wonderful food and even picnic supplies. How about walking along Regent Street between Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Street. Or walk down Oxford Street. You can spend a day shopping in amazing but also historical shops like Hamleys toy store, as well as Liberty, Debenhams, and Selfridges department stores. And just on the other side of Hyde Park is Harrods.

Those shops are only a few of the big, famous names you might recognize. You could also mix shopping and eating in London with history at the same time and visit one of the many markets. There really are an endless supply of options. With such an overwhelming selection for shopping and eating in London, I’ll share my choices from my last visit.

Shopping and Eating in London Markets

The markets in London range from enclosed shops to covered, tented stalls to just tables. They offer everything from food to clothes, to flowers, to antiques, to even what some might consider junk. There are so many markets for you to choose from to do some shopping and eating in London. Markets have been surviving as a shopping option in England for more than a thousand years so it’s not really a surprise they offer so many different ones to visit.

Some of the more famous ones are Covent Garden, Portobello Road, and Camden Lock, but there are so many more. I’ve been to several but my most recent trip to London had me visiting Borough Market for the first time.

Borough Market

Located across the street from the London Bridge Underground station, Borough Market (website) is an amazing food market that celebrated their 1000-year anniversary a few years ago. Nobody knows exactly when it was first established but the 1014 date has been used because of a story talking about the great market town of Southwark. Which is where Borough Market is located and now part of London. The website calls the market Britain’s renowned food market and from personal experience I can say, this market is like a foodie’s dream. There were food vendors of all types. Produce, spices, cheese, breads, meats, condiments, and almost anything else you can think of. I even bought an amazing vegetarian pate. Oh, and don’t forget the wine and other alcohols.

The busy market is an amazing sight even if you aren’t a foodie. There were vendors selling delicious street foods, some selling candies from other countries, and even shops where you could taste wines before purchasing. It’s a bit of a different place where you can do some shopping and eating in London but you also get to meet the farmers growing the produce, the fisherman who caught the fish, or the person who created one of the many different artisan products because they are the people working many of the stalls. It really is an experience.

There are also several restaurants in Borough Market for you to enjoy but we went to the chocolate one.

Rabot 1745 Cacao Restaurant & Roastery shopping and eating in London

Rabot 1745 in Borough Market

Rabot 1745

Located in Borough Market, Rabot 1745 (website) tantalizes patrons with food, drinks, desserts, and treats to take home, all using cocoa. It was a wonderful, delicious find. It was also the very first time I had a frozen, blended chocolate drink, and now I love them. Rabot 1745 is a chocolate lover’s restaurant where customers are served chocolate products from different locations around the world. Chocolate really does taste different from each country and this restaurant lets you try a lot of it.

Not everything on the menu contains cacao but a lot of it does. Like I said, I really enjoyed my frozen, blended drink but I also enjoyed the chocolate bars I brought home with me. Both the market and the Rabot 1745 restaurant were packed busy. Again, a location where I can do some shopping and eating in London, at the same time.

Rabot 1745 Iced Chocolate shopping and eating in London

Rabot 1745 Iced Chocolate drink

Cath Kidston Shop

Cath Kidston (website) carries clothes, handbags, travel bags, wallets, items for the home, kitchen, children, and even babies. They have a huge selection of stuff in their flagship store on Piccadilly. That location is also open for like 10 hours almost every day too so it makes it easy to shop. The styles tend to be floral, animals, and characters. That kind of thing. Which works for me because I seem to have some sort of unconscious obsession where every time I travel to a foreign country, I buy myself something floral.

While Cath Kidston has many locations, none of them are located in North America. Actually, in any of the Americas. I didn’t even know about the brand until this trip. I saw a really cute handbag being carried by someone on the tube and noticed the name. So, it meant I had to go shopping.

My Experience

I have one complaint with Cath Kidston and part of it is probably related to my country of residence. After using a handbag I bought only a few times over a several days, a piece on one of the handles started to fall apart. I was back in Vancouver by then but I still contacted them regarding a return because I had bought the bag less than a week before and had only used it like two or three times. It grew into an ordeal. Apparently, it costs more than they were expecting to ship something from Canada to the UK. Emails went back and forth and it took quite a while but finally, everything moved forward and they replaced my handbag.

I was happy they were willing to help me with the defective product but I wish it would have been quicker and less of an ordeal. The second bag took months of use before the same problem happened again. It wasn’t anything major enough to complain about a second time though (it was a rubber filler in the seam of the handle) so I’ve been living with it.

I was happy with the product, the selection, and my experience so I will shop there again.

Afternoon Tea at the British Museum while shopping and eating in London

Afternoon Tea at the British Museum

Afternoon Tea in the British Museum

Our first day in London was July 1, 2016. Canada Day. So, we decided being in London for Canada Day was the perfect time to enjoy our very first afternoon tea. And what better place than the British Museum. I’m so happy we did this. While having afternoon tea would have been delicious and a great experience at any of the famous, historical locations normally associated with it, for two museum lovers like us, this was an awesome memory. Also, the afternoon tea at the British Museum was the most affordable option of all the ones we looked into that day.

If shovelling your face with mini sandwiches, scones, desserts, and tea is not your thing, (I’m not saying you’re crazy, but really?) they also serve other foods. The Great Court Restaurant (website) is located under the beautiful glass roof of the Great Court, at the top of the spiral staircase. It has an open kitchen so you can watch the chefs, and it even has a bar. It’s quite a bright location under that glass roof even if it is a bit loud being in the semi-open court. But just eating my first afternoon tea in a large, stunning museum made me happy. Bonus, now I am also slightly addicted to afternoon tea and even found a delicious vegetarian one in Victoria, BC.

Crumbs & Doilies Cupcake Shop

My cousin Megan watched a TV program here in Canada on the Food Network YouTube channel from Crumbs & Doilies Cupcakes (website) in Soho, London. So of course, we had to go to the shop for cupcakes. Located on one of London’s many cobbled walkways, it is between Beak Street & Kingly Court just off Carnaby Street in Soho. They were a bit difficult to find for anyone not knowing the area because it really is a walkway between streets and the GPS on our phones had issues. But it wasn’t the only shop there and it is a cool location. I’m glad we made the effort to find it instead of giving up.

Crumbs & Doillies had quite a selection of regular size and mini cupcakes, as well as cakes. What they have in stock changes daily also so you will always be surprised. I had just started eating sugar again and it was my birthday the next day so I kept it simple and bought an assortment of five different mini cupcakes. Of course there was a caramel option for me cause it is my favourite, but the rainbow one with glittery sparkles looked the most fun, unicorn-like, & pretty. All were a sweet, delicious treat though.

Where else other than the UK are you going to find a Chocolate Guinness flavoured cupcake or a Lavender Caramel one? How about trying a Malteser, Cinnamon Toast, or Buttered Popcorn flavour? You could always go with some more common ones though if you prefer. Like Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Chocolate, or Red Velvet.

You can order from them online to get your specific choice or you can take a chance and be surprised with what they have for sale in their shop when you walk-in. Not only does Soho offer quite the assortment of shopping and eating in London options but it is also located between Oxford Street, Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street and Leister Square. So it is a wonderful location to visit so many other places.

Jamie's Italian napkin from shopping and eating in London

Jamie’s Italian Restaurant

I’m not sure what I was expecting from this restaurant by Jamie Oliver. I had never eaten at a restaurant owned by a famous chef before, or even someone I watched on TV, so I might have set the bar pretty high. Which could explain why I wasn’t overly impressed. Don’t get me wrong, the restaurant was very nice and the food was good, but it just didn’t jump out at me as anything better than other restaurants I’ve eaten at.

We visited the Jamie’s Italian (website) London Bridge location which is in the Hilton London Tower Bridge hotel. It allows the restaurant to have longer opening hours which means they also serve breakfast. We were there for dinner though and one place the restaurant excelled at was the vegetarian options. I really appreciated the large selection on the menu. Some of the choices even had protein which is not always an option with vegetarian meals in most restaurants.

There are locations in Piccadilly and Covent Garden too.

 

These are a few of the places I visited for shopping and eating in London on my last visit but this is an enormous city with what feels like endless options. I didn’t even discuss the pubs. Some are new and centered around the tourists while others have been at their location for hundreds of years. London has so many things to see and do but even if you only have a few days you will be able to experience so many things.

 

Have you also recently been to London? Do you have a few suggestions on where to go for shopping and eating?

 

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Amsterdam – Where The 2016 European Museum Tour Began

Amsterdam – Where The 2016 European Museum Tour Began

One day at work I opened my emails, and there was a beaming one (maybe it was just beaming in my memory). It was from WestJet, offering a new route to London, England. There was also an amazing introductory sale price that worked out to be about $700.00 return after everything was calculated, for the first few months of these new flights. Within minutes I was on their site booking a flight. I had also texted my cousin Megan to join me as a birthday celebration. In her words, she made the fastest, biggest decision of her life and she felt sick. It was great; I needed to get away and she had never been to Europe. We visited Amsterdam, Paris & London. What I didn’t expect, but thoroughly loved, was that because we are both museum lovers, this two week vacation turned into what I happily refer to as, ‘The 2016 European Museum Tour’.

*This is a really long post with heaps of information*

WestJet to London

WestJet was their normal, wonderful, customer service orientated selves so there is not much to share on that regard but there were a few other things. Food is not included in this flight. You have to either buy your meals and snacks from the airline or bring your own food on the flight. At the time I flew, there was a vegetarian meal option that was full of cheese but there was no vegan option.

The other item of note is there are no personal TV’s on these airplanes. You have to download the WestJet app in advance to either your laptop, tablet or smart phone if you want to watch the in-flight entertainment. Of course, since November 2016, you can also download TV shows and movies from your Netflix account directly onto your tablet or smartphone to watch later while you are offline and in Airplane Mode.

London to Other European Locations

Once we knew we were on our way to London we had to decide where we wanted to go in those two weeks. Did we want to stay in the UK or did we want to head over to Europe also? Transportation can be quite cheap once you are in the UK and Europe. There are trains (we used GoEuro (affiliate link) to book our train trips), buses and airplanes. You even have the option of seriously discounted flights from companies like Ryanair and EasyJet. We did the research and decided for our purposes, a flight out of the same airport we landed into in London was the best, most convenient, choice for us this time.

Accommodation

We chose to rent studio apartments through Airbnb for each of our locations in Europe (see my previous article on Airbnb). Our studio apartment in Amsterdam was relatively new with a very comfortable double bed, small couch, TV, video games, small kitchen, quite a large bathroom, and a small balcony. Other than a shower curtain, the shower in the bathroom wasn’t really separated so the entire floor flooded. One day the water even ended up running out under the bathroom door into the hallway. I have experienced this shower/bathroom situation in the Netherlands previously so I don’t think this was an isolated incident. Other than some construction, we were also in a great location. There was a view of the water and we were only a few minutes walking distance from the bus stops, the grocery store, as well as other shops and restaurants.

An added bonus for us in Amsterdam, our Airbnb host picked us up at the airport and drove us to the apartment, for a small fee. It was convenient and very much appreciated after a full day of travel. We didn’t have to get ourselves and our luggage to a strange location. I had never used Airbnb before this trip but we had such a great experience in all the cities, I ended up using them in Australia and New Zealand also.

Getting Around Amsterdam

Not only is Amsterdam a great walkable city but the transportation is very convenient and easy to use. Everyday we caught the bus to the Centraal Train Station from our Airbnb rental. The Centraal Train Station is a transportation hub so from there you can catch trams, the underground train or a bus. Thankfully our Airbnb host provided us with a reusable transit card which was another appreciated benefit.

Amsterdam the City

Besides the amazing history in Amsterdam, there is the architecture, canals, tulips, cheese, food, beer, the people, their culture, and of course, the more open laws regarding drugs and sex. I have been to Amsterdam a hand full of times and each time I visited I did different things, depending on who I was with.

Building Architecture In Amsterdam

I remember the first time I went; the big draw for us was seeing what the coffee shops with their marijuana and the Red-Light District were all about. We also visited the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum and ate some pannekoekens (Dutch pancakes). Another time I was on a European tour that stopped in Amsterdam for a day or two. On that trip we visited a marijuana museum and saw a sex show. Then there was the time with the parents when we had an approx. four-hour layover on our way to Scotland. We put our things in a locker at the airport and took the train into the city to walk around for an hour or two. I also ate a pannekoeken. When I think about it, really, the only thing I have consistently done in Amsterdam each time I am there, is eat pannekoekens.

[bctt tweet=”I feel like no matter how many museums I have been to in Amsterdam there are still so many more to see.” username=”dapsile” nofollow”yes”]

Amsterdam has many, varied types of museums. There are the traditional ones for relics, art, history, and historical artifacts. But there are also museums for things like cheese, diamonds, fashion, tulips, sex and of course marijuana.

I mentioned in the past I had been to the Anne Frank House. While we didn’t have a chance to visit this trip, it is one of the places I recommend because I found it to be quite a bit different in real life than I had envisioned while reading the book. Of course it is incredibly busy. Years ago when I was there, we had to stand outside in a que that went down the street. When we did enter, it was in a constant stream of people. We weren’t really able to stop and look around too much but there also wasn’t a lot to see. I mean it wasn’t a luxury accommodation, these were people literally hiding for their lives. According to their website, now they sell tickets in advance as well as at the door.

We spent our first day this trip doing a bit of exploring as well as visiting a few sights. We also went back in the evening to just explore this beautiful city and see it’s stunning transformation at night. No trip is complete either until you witness for yourself what the Red-Light District is about. We were visiting around June 24th and it was wonderful because it didn’t get dark till around 11 pm and the sun was rising at around 4 am.

The Begijnhof

My cousin had just finished her schooling to be a history teacher so the Begijnhof was her number one choice of places to visit. The Begijnhof is one of the oldest inner courts in the city of Amsterdam and it also has the oldest wooden house. Originally it was a Beguinage, which is a kind of non-nunnery nunnery, and it possibly dates back to the 14th century. Although that oldest wooden house, only dates as far back as the 16th century. Only, the 16th century. I love Europe.

I live in an apartment which means based on the noises and shaking walls, I know when my neighbour’s relationships aren’t going well and when they are going very well. So I am always impressed and surprised by these historical buildings I visit in other countries and the serene, calm, quiet experiences I have while in them. I remember being in one place in Fez, Morocco where I could have happily meditated while I was inside, and there wasn’t even a roof.

This was my first visit to an inner court in the Netherlands. Even though it was right in the middle of the city, it was calm, peaceful and so quiet. It was also easy to forget people lived in these houses. Of course, that was until you walked past a ground floor window and saw someone in their home doing their everyday activities. Then you just felt a wee bit like a peeping tom. There is only a small portion of this inner court open to the public though so you won’t feel tempted to look into a lot of homes.

The Amsterdam Bloemenmarkt

The flower market – Bloemenmarkt – kind of explains itself. Although it is the only floating flower market in the world and it dates to the mid 1800’s, so I guess it doesn’t explain itself too well. And it is quite large. The market contains more flowers and flower bulbs than most of us will ever see anywhere else in our life. You can even buy them as a souvenir. There are other things to buy and different types of souvenirs, so it is not just flowers. But the Netherlands are known for their flowers so they are wonderful to see.

Moco Museum

When we were out exploring, we came across a few different adverts (one is below) for a Banksy exhibit at the Moco Museum. I was super excited about checking it out. While I would prefer to see a Banksy painting in its natural habitat, that might never happen and I really wanted to see his work in person. My cousin on the other hand was excited to see there was also an Andy Warhol exhibit showing. I had never seen any of Andy Warhol’s work in person. The talent of both artists, as well as their use of various mediums, was very impressive. I loved the way these exhibits were displayed and laid out in the museum also. The Moco Museum is located in a historical house in the Museumplein with other museums including the Rijksmuseum. The area is easy to reach with its own tram stop.

Rijksmuseum

Also located in the Museumplein, the Rijkmuseum has such an amazing assortment of Dutch artists and historical artifacts. I mean very few museums contain entire sections on locks and keys. Or how about the section with early versions of picture slides. Not to mention the furniture pieces, the clothing – including Yves Saint Laurent, doll houses, fashion, a period room, delftware, porcelain figurines, jewellery, weaponry, model ships and more. Plus the paintings. There are paintings from Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Van Gogh; just to name three. It was a wonderful surprise to walk into the museum and the first thing we saw, in the first room we entered, was a Van Gogh self-portrait. It was life imitating art with the sea of selfie sticks.

Museum Het Rembrandthuis

This museum is, well, Rembrandt’s house and workshop. It is sparsely furnished but that could have been what it was like during that time. Or, there weren’t many original pieces left to put in. I don’t know, but I did find it quite interesting to see and walk around this house. Probably the best part of the museum though, is all the detail given to the art aspect. In the workshop, you are shown different techniques, how colours were created, as well as different mediums.

While this museum was interesting to see being a history lover, it was even more interesting as an art lover.

Shopping in Amsterdam

There is so, so, so much shopping to be done in Amsterdam. There is something for every kind of tourist. I mean, if there is a museum for it, just think of the shopping opportunities available. Not only does the city offer niche shopping options but there are both Dutch and international brands. Of all price ranges.

A few years ago I was in the Amsterdam airport for a few hours, which by the way is a great airport for a layover, and I bought myself an Oilily handbag. It is one of my absolute favourite handbags. This means it has been used a lot and needed to be replaced. Unfortunately I didn’t find a new one in the shops that appealed to me enough to replace it. I did find a pair of shoes instead though.

My cousin was wearing a pair of Palladium boots on our trip and until then, I had never heard of the company. I really liked her boots though so when we saw a shop, we were both quite happy to check it out. I was kind of eyeing a few different pairs but I wasn’t really feeling like I needed to have any of them. Until my eye caught this flowered pair of shoes. It’s weird. I rarely buy flower patterns or have flowers in my home but as soon as I go travelling I buy flower patterned items. Anyway other than the flowers, the thing I love the most about my Palladium shoes is the comfort. Normally shoes like Converse or Keds, have a less rounded toe which doesn’t fit me well and is uncomfortable. My Palladium shoes though, have a more rounded toe and are comfortable for me to wear.

Eating in Amsterdam

Staying in an apartment with Airbnb meant we had the use of a kitchen with a stove and a refrigerator. We didn’t have to eat every meal in a restaurant. However, we did eat at a cute little restaurant one morning for breakfast, for pannekoekens. I always eat the sweet ones. Even though I can’t remember the place we ate at to share with you, I haven’t eaten a bad pannekoeken in all my visits to the country.

We did eat lunch while we were out and on our first day we ate at La Place. This restaurant is set-up almost like a giant buffet style place but a lot nicer and classier. There were different sections that each offered a large variety of options. There was the salad section, the warm food section, etc. You can choose your own combination and whatever portion size you want. All the food is 100% natural, locally sources and home-made. It was all good but I especially enjoyed my smoothie. Although this restaurant wasn’t in the mall, it was in the shopping area. It had a more casual, feel to it.

On our second, and last day, we ate at Café Karpershoek. The oldest pub in Amsterdam. I had this amazing vegetarian open faced sandwich and my cousin, tried the croquettes. My Mom’s husband is Dutch and he really wanted her to try them while she was in the country. She loved them. This pub is in a great location, and it has wonderful food. Even though it has so much history to show, the atmosphere wasn’t overly touristy. There were heaps of locals.

I’ve shared two locations but this Beers & Brunch article from Passports to Life thankfully shares more for you.

It was a quick two days in Amsterdam but we saw a lot and enjoyed ourselves.

For such a small country, the Netherlands has so much to see. While we only went to Amsterdam this trip, I did visited Utrecht many years ago and really liked it.

 

If you are interested in or starting to plan a trip, there are several travel related products and websites listed on the Yup…..We Like These page, to help you out. Some of the affiliate link descriptions also contain a coupon code for you to use.

VIM & VIGR Compression Socks – Most Unique Pattern & Review

VIM & VIGR Compression Socks – Most Unique Pattern & Review

When I flew to Europe last year I noticed my black compression socks were stretched and no longer in their original shape. They didn’t have all of the elasticity left in them. I knew I needed to get myself a new pair for flying to Australia and New Zealand. Obviously I needed a pair in their original shape, I was going to be flying two long-haul flights. Deep vein thrombosis is something I very much want to avoid.

I did some internet research to find a really good compression sock and of course I checked out the different patterns offered. In my search I found the compression socks chosen most often, with the best patterns, were in the USA. Canada has compression socks with patterns, but nothing that is different.

Ooooohhhh I totally loved the patterns VIM & VIGR offered for their compression socks.

The first thing that drew me to VIM & VIGR was the fact that they offer their compression socks in cotton and wool, on top of the normal nylon you always see. Then there was the pattern selection. They didn’t just have the stripes, polka dots and argyle patterns I had seen from other companies. The pair I really loved, I had not seen anywhere else. Of course I had to buy them. They are a blue and charcoal, cotton sock with the most awesome stick figure type rose pattern. Women’s Queen’s Floral is also a pretty awesome sock name. Although if a floral pattern is not your thing, they do have a cotton sock with a camouflage pattern. Plus, they have different seasonal collections.

When I first visited the web-site there was an option to sign-up for their emails. By doing that, I received a $5.00 off coupon code. I loved and appreciated this option, especially because I was trying something new. I ordered my socks on Sunday night and because of the $25.00 shipping charge to Canada, I decided to ship to a USA address for $4.99 instead. While I am happy I had that option available to me, I hope the high shipping cost to Canada is something VIM & VIGR can work on, it would be great if these socks were more readily available here.

My VIM & VIGR Order

My order shipped out on Monday and even though I chose the 7-10 day shipping option, by Thursday, the socks arrived at the address. That very fast delivery time totally impressed me. The fifth thing I noticed about the VIM & VIGR compression socks, after the fabric, the unique pattern, the coupon code and the unexpected fast delivery time (which obviously won’t always happen), was that these socks are just as beautiful in real life as they are on the web-site. The photos were wonderfully accurate.

If ordering directly from the USA isn’t an option for you though, the VIM & VIGR website also lists three international companies, one in Canada and two in Asia. The company in Canada is 26.10 Design & Distribution Inc. (website here). They are based in Quebec and shipping is a fixed fee of $15.00 CAD to Canada. Unfortunatly they only have the regular polka dots, stripes and argyle choices everyone else has. They do however offer all three fabric choices, cotton, wool and nylon.  Bliss & Bless (website here) is the company in Hong Kong and the company in Japan, Koshiya Medicalcare (website here), didn’t end up having any of the VIM & VIGR products on their site, that I could find.

The Sizing

When I purchase shoes, I wear a woman’s 9-10 and my calf’s are larger, like about 17”. So, I ordered the Large size based on the sizing chart. The awesome thing is though, VIM & VIGR has socks with a Wide Calf option. Great for people who don’t fit into the other sizes but still want or need a compression sock for flying or exercising.

There were two downsides to this sock that I noticed. The first one I experienced was because I am short and the socks are quite long. This means the socks come right up to the knee joint (or higher). When I had long travel days, I found they would cut into my leg. After two long-haul flights, a short layover, car travel times, etc, the socks were cutting into my leg pretty good. My first experience wearing these socks was actually a little painful. This might be because they are cotton and don’t have as much flexibility as nylon. I would also like to try a wide-calf option though, maybe that had something to do with it.

The second downside, these socks took quite a bit of effort to put on. Again, probably because they are cotton and don’t have the flexibility nylon based compression socks have. You get instructions from VIM & VIGR on how to properly put the socks on, which is very helpful and appreciated, but they definitely take a lot more effort than I am used to applying when putting on compression socks.

These compression socks are quite thick and tight, which is probably because of the cotton. I thought I could really feel them do their work. As soon as I put them on, my legs started to tingle. I wore these for my flights and I felt they did a great job. Although, because I am not a medical professional, other than lacking any obvious signs of deep vein thrombosis, I’m not sure how to tell. I have worn other compression socks before though and while I have felt my legs tingle, the other socks have never fit as snug, not like these VIM & VIGR cotton compression socks. Compression socks alone won’t prevent deep vein thrombosis, but they do help. I also try to get up and walk around regularly on flights.

I loved wearing my VIM & VIGR compression socks with this great, modern pattern, I didn’t have to feel as though I was wearing my Grandfather’s medical socks. That right there is enough to make me purchase these again. Plus, even though I have not worn these socks for anything other than flying yet, they are so stylish I am willing to try them for exercise, sitting, and standing.


I loved my VIM & VIGR cotton compression socks so much I decided to become an affiliate marketer with them. If you are interested, you can click above on the purple VIM & VIGR, or you can click on the description on the Recommendations page. It will not cost you any additional costs to make a purchase with this link but we will receive a commission for referring you.

I hope you will enjoy your socks as much as I enjoy mine.

New Zealand Art Worn as Jewellery and Who Doesn’t Love Jewellery

New Zealand Art Worn as Jewellery and Who Doesn’t Love Jewellery

New Zealand is a land of beauty, magic, kindness, food, art and many more things. It is a small country with only a few million people but it has so very much to offer. The artists and varied range of art within the country is stunning and I was lucky enough to find a few artists who made jewellery, art I could wear, which I purchased and will enjoy wearing for quite a while.

Elemental Jewellery

I was visiting with a friend in Auckland when I first saw one of Elemental Jewellery’s pieces. My friend was wearing this beautiful, long, silver pendant necklace, on a silver link chain, with a rose quartz. I absolutely loved the strong, silver, horseshoe design mixed with the soft, pretty, rose quartz gemstone. I’ve seen quite a lot of jewellery made with gemstones before but this necklace had a high-end, sturdy, clean lines, yet beautiful, whimsical look about it and I had to have my own. Thankfully when my friend contacted the designer/maker, Rosie Carson, she had a shorter one (approx 25cm) in stock that I could buy and receive before I left the city.

I absolutely love my new silver pendant necklace with rose quartz from Elemental Jewellery. It is made very well with strong metals and built in a sturdy manner so that it will hopefully last me for years. While the necklace doesn’t look delicate or fragile, it is still very feminine and pretty. Also, because it is more of a clean line, contemporary style, I have been able to wear it with everything and for a wide range of occasions, from everyday casual clothes, including leggings with a comfy shirt to casual pants with a blouse, all the way through to fancy dress going to the opera. The compliments I receive on it are nice too. I am definitely very happy with my Elemental Jewellery, silver pendant necklace.

**Click on the bold name/title/link above to check out the Elemental Jewellery website and purchase your own.

Good Things

When I was in Wellington I spent one of my days in the CBD, shopping and seeing sights. It was absolutely pouring rain outside most of that day so I was trying to spend as much time as I could indoors. That goal brought me to the New Zealand Portrait Gallery and I am glad it did, for several reasons. One, of course, is that it was dry and warm in there. Two, it was in a wonderfully, old, historic warehouse. Three, it introduced me to the works of several New Zealand artists. And four, it introduced me to the Tangles, jewellery created by Becky Bean under the name of Good Things.

There are several different styles but I immediately loved these Tangles when I saw them. For some reason, they just remind me of chaos. That life is chaos. I bought myself a bracelet with a white and black Tangle because I loved it so much and wanted something I could wear on a regular basis, and I also bought myself a necklace of a larger navy blue Tangle with flecks of navy blue glittery pieces in it.

The Tangles are made from polymer clay so they are quite durable but they can also possibly be damaged. My bracelet is on a 5mm wide black, leather strap with a magnetic clasp and my necklace on a very thin, adjustable, black, leather strap.

The necklace strap is very soft and slides easily to adjust but the bracelet strap doesn’t feel like leather, it is not very soft. I really like the simplicity and ease of the magnetic clasp on the bracelet though, unfortunately the length of the leather strap is an awkward size. It means that it is way too large but when I double wrap it around my wrist, it makes the bracelet quite snug so that every time I somehow catch it on something, the magnetic clasp unhinges. I have almost lost it, several times.

The bracelet strap is something that I can adjust and fix, thankfully, because I really love these Tangles. Whether it was meant or not, the Tangles make me think of the chaos of life and how we always come out of it. Wearing this reminder as a piece of art, just makes me really happy.

**You can check out the Good Things website and purchase your own by clicking on the name/title/link, above.

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